WASHINGTON D.C., DC — If you've ever ordered a set of pencils online and it was delivered to your house in a box that could fit a microwave, perhaps you asked yourself if there was a more environmentally efficient means of satisfying your pencil needs.
Enter 'The Rounds' which is a unique fusion of Amazon meets the milkman from the 1950s.
"We've been in D.C. now for almost three months and D.C. has been amazing," said The Rounds co-founder Alex Torrey.
"The Rounds is a zero waste refill and delivery service for the stuff that you use every day. The basic essentials," said Torrey. "Household personal care, pantry, baby, pet. We deliver it to your door with zero packaging waste."
Here's how it works. Suppose I need a box of spaghetti, a roll of toilet paper, a bag of coffee and a kitchen sponge. You would place an online order for those items through The Rounds and on an agreed-upon day, the items would be delivered on an electric bike.
The items you ordered would either come loose or in a mason jar. So, your coffee and pasta would be in a jar while your toilet paper and sponge would have no packaging at all.
The next time you have items delivered, you'd simply leave the empty mason jars on your doorstep and The Rounds delivery driver will pick them up.
"So think of it like a modern-day milkman for all of the essentials in your home," said Torrey.
"It's an extremely low waste delivery. The fact that I'm not going to get stuck with a bunch of mason jars at home because they'll come and pick up the empties," said Georgetown resident Alana Stolnitz.
The Rounds has only been operating in D.C. for several months after a successful test in Philadelphia.
"I'd say a typical day for each rounder riding the bike is about forty," said delivery driver Zeke Van Patten when asked about his average number of daily deliveries.
Van Patten joined The Rounds four months ago.
"I think it's really cool. I think with everyone being more environmentally conscious now and trying to make individual consumer decisions to lower their impact I think it's really exciting and empowering to see companies taking the responsibility too," Van Patten said.
"What makes us so sustainable is how efficient our model is. Our mission is to make everyday sustainable choices effortless for everyone," said Torrey. "I don't know when our job will be done, but certainly not in three months. It's going to take a lot longer than that but it's really about how do we continue to grow responsibly, sustainably."
Right now, the delivery service is only available in select parts of D.C.
"We have a very efficient model. It's part of what makes it green. We're growing responsibly and were growing very fast and have a lot of exciting plans to be available in more places soon," said Torrey.
Discover more about The Rounds HERE.
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